Modelling the flow of congestive heart failure patients through a hospital system

Barry Shaw, Adele Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The number of hospital admissions in England due to heart failure is projected to increase by over 50% during the next 25 years. This will incur greater pressures on hospital managers to allocate resources in an effective manner. A reliable indicator for measuring the quantity of resources consumed by hospital patients is their length of stay (LOS) in care. This paper proposes modelling the length of time heart failure patients spend in hospital using a special type of Markov model, where the flow of patients through hospital can be thought of as consisting of three stages of care—short-, medium- and longer-term care. If it is assumed that new admissions into the ward are replacements for discharges, such a model may be used to investigate the case-mix of patients in hospital and the expected patient turnover during some specified period of time. An example is illustrated by considering hospital admissions to a Belfast hospital in Northern Ireland, between 2000 and 2004.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Operational Research Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


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